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God, Mammon and Us 2

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I’m a city boy, or so my wife tells me, but I do enjoy living out here in the wild country, surrounded by all but one of the four landscapes that man has least trammeled, sea, sky, mountain, and desert. We don’t have desert, but we have the others, and all of them stretching for miles to the far horizon. Walking takes you from one breathtaking view to another, whichever direction you are going. Mountains is probably a bit of an overstatement to describe the Magillycuddy’s Reeks it’s true, more like high hills, but craggy all the same, if not exactly with the grandeur of the Alps or the Himalayas. Such views sooth the soul and keep the gods alive in your heart. Not so much if you were born and bred here, according to some of my neighbours, but that said, most of them do appreciate the beauty of the place where we live.

reeks

In the city the only one of those majestic views available is the sky. When I was doing my degree, a couple of hundred years ago or so, we had a discussion about a Wordsworth poem describing a thundercloud gathering over the Lake District in North West England, where he was living at the time. The discussion turned to skies we had seen, and out of a group of around fifteen, only two others could remember looking at the sky during the past two or three weeks. I look at it every day, and always have done.

We live in a world where it is sometimes easy to think that everything is about the material world, as Madonna called it, the world of politics and economics, how much money have I got and what can I afford and what do I want and what car do I drive? And so on. In Kerry the good times and the bad times come and go and nothing much changes. Right now we’re watching some ruinous housing flung up by cowboys in the name of the Celtic Tiger as it raked its claws across the land, fall back into the earth. No-one cares much. There are some that have got in the way of the view but they will fall, we can be sure. As a pal said to me a few years ago, there have been more villages in sight of our house than are here now, and if they built a casino there would still be the old man walking down by the pier with his dogs, and the fishermen tending their boats, and the seagulls and the herons, and the cormorants and the oystercatchers and the rest scattered over the beach or perched on the rotting wooden posts. The smell of seaweed and the ocean still overwhelms the temporary reek of petrol.

I was outside just now, as the sun was going down, and photographed the pink and orange clouds and the cerulean sky beyond. The sky is as it has been for millenia, vast and full of light and mystery.

Wherever you are, take a minute and look up. Takes the blues away, doesn’t it?

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3 Comments

  1. Cordelia Meh says:

    Lovely observations Dad. I miss being home… xx

  2. Greetings to you, Diano. Yes, it is a beautiful world but that is so much easier to understand when you look out on it in its natural and original form. I hope I will one day see the lontananza.Sono and the Belluno Dolomites too, but for now, Kerry does it for me!!

  3. Diano says:

    if you’re not stupid or too attached to the materiality of life, when you’re heading towards the last stretch of the path of life, you begin to think about how beautiful the world is in its naturalness. My house is located about halfway between the sea (Venice) and the first of the Belluno Dolomites close to 2 hours by car, and this season when the weather is nice I can see a whole crown of snow-capped peaks in lontananza.Sono beautiful places that I have known him as a boy also because they speak almost the same sweet Venetian dialect spoken here in the plains. the dialect creates an different intimacy with people and makes you feel at home.
    Have the same feelings that I realize I look for when I am in Ireland. A different intimacy with people who make you feel at home. This much more with your friends .. This intimate feel with the magnificent and moving nature of Irish territory … this intimacy perceive it when I can steal the shade of accent Irish, despite my bad english .. at the end she gets out a teaching of the Dharma: Equanimity is the mother of brotherhood. Empathy, love and justice for all. This should be the constitution of the world.
    I wish I had time and money to visit health around the world but I think that right now I would go in Donegal .. So much greetings for the company of stoned players ..
    Diano

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